Baucus Gave Galpal Melodee Hanes a $14K Raise
Senator also took her on taxpayer-funded trip abroad
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2009 7:30 AM CST
Updated Dec 11, 2009 7:46 AM CST
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont. smiles on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2009, during the committee's hearing regarding health care reform.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – Sleeping with the boss has its benefits, including, in the case of Max Baucus staffer Melodee Hanes, an almost $14,000 raise. Baucus gave his favorite staffer that little pay adjustment while he was romantically involved with her in 2008, Politico reports. He also took her on a taxpayer-funded trip through Southeast Asia and the Middle East, though she wasn’t a foreign policy specialist.

Baucus’ office denies giving Hanes preferential treatment, saying it was in line with what other staffers were getting—even though, according to public documents, it made her among the senator’s highest paid staffers. The office also defends taking her on the trip, which included Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates, at a cost of $14,000 a person, saying previous people in Hanes’ job had gone on similar trips. It was reported earlier that Baucus had recommended her for a US attorney job, but she withdrew when the couple decided to move in together.